GARY Rowett has said Aiden O’Brien will get more game time this season – and praised the attacker’s attitude in training.
O’Brien had only played nine minutes under Rowett before he came on as a 78th-minute substitute against Nottingham Forest on Friday and scored an injury-time equaliser.
Rowett insisted he is receptive to players querying why they’re not in the side.
“I’ve always been the same. I said it to the players here from day one if anyone has a problem just come up and see me, my door’s always open,” Rowett said.
“That’s the way I work, I’d rather deal with any issues head on and talk about it. I’ll try to outline to those players why they haven’t had as much game time. There’s often a reason we feel why that’s the case. Sometimes it’s just that they’ve not had the opportunity and we’ve given a chance to someone else first and they’ve done quite well.
“Sometimes it’s not a fault of theirs. It’s like Pearcey [Alex Pearce], the first three or four games he didn’t start simply because [Jake] Cooper and Hutch [Shaun Hutchinson] were doing really well.
“It’s the same with Aiden. I watched some of the games and felt Aiden in a wide position perhaps lost his shape a little bit in his enthusiasm to go central, because I think that’s where he likes to play.
“The first few games we felt there were players who could give us a little bit more discipline for the team. I spoke to Aiden last week, he’s been training fantastically well and if I don’t pick him that’s not his fault. He can’t do anymore.
“What it shows is if you retain your attitude even if you’re disappointed [not to play] you can come on and affect the game.
“I’m not suggesting that a 10-minute cameo and a goal means you start the next game. But what I would say is that it’s strengthening his claim massively and he will see plenty of game time.
“It will be down to Aiden whether he gets in the team and stays in the team. I’ve been pleased with him so far.”
Image: Millwall FC